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Time to talk

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Lalad, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    One of the regular early morning swimmers at our local pool had been absent for a few days and we have now found out that she has taken her own life. Sadly, it's the third suicide in as many weeks in our relatively small community - the first was a young man in his twenties, and the second in his mid-thirties.

    Families and friends have been left confused and devastated, and we are all asking ourselves what we missed and how we can try to make sure this doesn't happen again.

    It's made me think. Sometimes there are obvious signs and reasons for suicide but often it seems to come out of the blue. Is it becoming more common, or is it just that we are more open about it now? Is there something about modern life that is making more people feel they have no choice but to end it?
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    No idea. On the occasions I've thought about it? I disclosed it to nobody. Nobody would have known. I haven't felt like that for ages though.

    I can quite understand the "we had no idea" scenario.
    nizebaby likes this.
  3. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    I do think that mental ill health is more prevalent than it was- but perhaps it’s more that it’s talked about more now.

    But there is still a stigma attached to it and often people think that they should ‘pull themselves together’ and ‘man up’. The thing is, if you could do those things, you would.

    I think that people can become adept at masking what is going on inside. It’s very sad Lalad, but I don’t think that there is anything else you could have done to change things and I’ve heard that people who are really determined to end their lives, do so without telling others of their intention.
    Flowersinspring likes this.
  4. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Mental health is much ore openly discussed now, it's true.
    I now work in the funeral business, and I would say that the majority of suicides seem to come as a shock to the family. I can't (thank goodness) speak from experience, but there may be some truth in the old saying that if the person talks a lot about suicide, they are less at risk.
    Sorry for the loss, though, @Lalad. It is a horrible shock for you.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    Thank you - I know the parents of one of the young men and he had been in the local shop buying food for the weekend hours before he was found. He had talked about taking his nephew to the cinema the following day and was showing no signs of being depressed or unhappy. His mum is finding it very difficult to understand what could have happened in those few hours to make him take the decision to end his life.
  6. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    I recently lost a relative, a young man, to suicide. He had had bouts of depression and three unfortunate life events coming close together tipped him over the edge. He had told someone he planned to do it and she sensibly alerted his parents who got him the best treatment they could. He was not considered high enough risk to be sectioned.
    Even after all that, there is to be an inquest into his death because he didn't leave note and everyone was in the house at the time he over-dosed. As if they all haven't suffered enough.
  7. towncryer

    towncryer Lead commenter

    I cannot imagine how it feels to get to that point. Like most,I have had times when I have reached rock bottom emotionally but never ever have I contemplated suicide....so how much worse these people must have felt!

    As for survivors/friends/acquaintances I have experience of that unfortunately. Years back in my previous life as a manager, I went on holiday and on my return one of my younger staff had committed suicide. I felt terrible. I knew she had personal problems and felt that I hadn't listened enough/was too focused on my own problems and the job.

    Its a terrible thing whichever way you look at it...but I really dont think the "survivors" are to blame...even though it feels like it at the time.
  8. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

    How sad, Lalad and Aquamarina

    I think it’s very complex - lots of reasons

    Depression, anxiety, hopelessness, debt , being LGBT , loneliness ,bullying , problems you don’t think you can solve

    I think getting people to talk is really good but it is very hard as quite often people close down and don’t want to talk. People can become angry and volatile.

    Even when people talk, there is a lack of consistency in terms of mental health support and this has been reduced

    People seek help and still end up taking their own lives

    Anyone talking about suicidal thoughts should always be took seriously., even if it is seen as seeking attention

    There is also stigma - people don’t tell others how they feel as it could be seen as weakness

    Also if you don’t tell anyone, no one will try and stop you. So if you’ve made your mind up why would you risk them trying to stop you by confiding in them ?
  9. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    No, according to the Samaritans ...
    There has been a significant decrease in male suicide in the UK, and the male suicide rate is the lowest in over 30 years.
    Female suicide is rarer, but even there rates fell by 2% between 2016 and 2017.

    Sorry to hear about your local spike in suicides, though.
    nizebaby likes this.
  10. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Exactly!!! No way was I letting on to anyone. They might have tried to stop me.
    magic surf bus likes this.
  11. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    My young man was furious when someone he trusted told his parents he was planning suicide (it was planned: he'd been saving up prescription drugs for weeks). She of course blames herself even though everyone assures her they don't blame her, and that saying nothing would probably had ended the same.
  12. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    A good teaching friend of mine took her own life just after Christmas some years ago. It was a huge shock when it happened.
  13. Mathsteach2

    Mathsteach2 Established commenter

    Because I mentioned that teenage suicides are on the increase in my religious threads I am compelled to post here. I cannot add anything more to the sincerity, concern and empathy already expressed in all of the preceding posts, to which I add all of my support. My condolences to all relatives and friends of the victims of suicide.
    After a brief Google search I found no reference to Church responses to the problem. I guess they are there but they are having as little success as are the medical and other secular services. I did find confirmation of the increasing rates amongst teenagers.
    I am not advocating any religious intervention (the results of that knowing how established Churches operate would possibly only exacerbate the problem), but I do think the divide between the rich and the poor must take the blame.
  14. Mathsteach2

    Mathsteach2 Established commenter

    Reading my last sentence again there is obviously a serious flaw in my observation. Rich kids commit suicide, we need statistics on that. I speculate, however, that at least some of those are totally altruistic and despair at the way things are going.
  15. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    I met my friend's granddaughter at the weekend, recently qualified as a staff nurse so I asked her which ward/specialism she was in. Turns out she has chosen burns and plastic surgery. She had just finished 2 x 14 hour shifts and despite most of her patients doing well they had a new case in. A 26 year old male - a suicide attempt who had set fire to himself. 70+% burns and the prognosis was very poor. How could anyone select that as a method? A very sobering thought.
    EmanuelShadrack likes this.
  16. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    This is pure speculation, and I'd be interested if anyone's got any data on this, but my guess is that the world of social media, the cult of "celebrity", and the cynicism of advertising, are all factors. Everyone else is apparently living these successful smiling lives. I think it takes experience, and a certain degree of self-assuredness, to see the illusion for what it is.

    People are actively encouraged to focus on what they don't have, and to overlook what they do have. Envy, greed, pride etc are all good for business.
  17. towncryer

    towncryer Lead commenter

    I agree wholeheartedly with that. There is too much pressure these day on social media to show a happy and successful life (even if its not). As I have a very cynical nature anyway I was never going to fall for some of the outright lies and jolly postings of friends and colleagues on facebook (I no longer subscribe either) For the less cynical/less mature/naive this constant pressure to have the perfect life, the perfect body and whatever else must be unbearable for many and some just dont cope.
    EmanuelShadrack and Mathsteach2 like this.
  18. Grandsire

    Grandsire Star commenter

    I don’t presume to know how other people feel, but for me it seemed like the only way to make feeling so bad actually stop. Oblivion seemed more preferable to having to go on with life and all its misery. The thought of survivors have to cope didn’t compare (selfishly) with my despair at the time. It does now I’m well, of course - of course.

    It wasn’t anything to do with the pressure of celebrity culture or a failure of my life to match perfection - it was a chemical imbalance in my brain that changed my priorities. It’s a problem which appears to be shared (sadly) by individuals going back many generations on one branch of my family tree. Understanding why I’m at risk has made me safer: I don’t intend to be on that list.

    Telling someone was hard (and talking about it still is) because most people seemed to over-react with horror to what felt like the only straight-forward decision capable of bringing relief at the time. How ill I was. I don’t talk about it with many people but have found the only ones who really understand are those who’ve been there too. And the Samaritans, of course. Thank goodness for them. Their calmness and willingness to listen to the worst is unparalleled, and saves many of us.
  19. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    18 months ago one of my daughters, by chance, noticed a couple of odd online purchases had been made by her boyfriend. She'd been planning to go away from home that weekend, and he'd been planning to end his own life using stuff bought from the internet, based on information he'd found on the internet. She quizzed him and quizzed him until he owned up to it. His self-esteem has always been shaky, he was bullied throughout school and didn't get some of the essential qualifications despite being very intelligent. This holds him back with job applications, and in really bad moments he hits rock bottom.

    We took him to A&E, he was admitted and spent a week as an in-patient at a psychiatric ward for assessment at the local hospital, which in all honesty scared the living sh*t out of him. His parents made no contribution to his recovery whatsoever, didn't visit him in hospital, and had ignored the need for treatment after a previous suicide attempt in his teens, just basically telling him to 'man up'. Nobody had talked with him. All that did was postpone the inevitable. Anyway, despite some rocky moments with different medications, issues of trust, and a fair bit of input from us to support the pair of them, he's still around, they're still a couple, and he has a different perspective on life and self-esteem, but we're very much on guard for any future lapses. In some ways I've become like a second father to him, but one who cares for him and values him. I'd like to think we could talk if we had to - it certainly helped 18 months ago. On the following Father's Day he sent me a card - fair brought a tear to my eye.

    When I commented in the other thread that men's metaphorical (some might say genetic) unwillingness to ask for directions when they're lost can hold them back, I wasn't joking.
  20. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I should add something. If you have the opportunity to talk with somebody, take it, and listen to what they say. Make them feel valued - you might be the only person they talk with all day.

    I'm sorry to hear things didn't work out for the person you knew @Lalad

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